Malaysia Masters 2019: Saina Nehwal progresses into semi-finals, Kidambi Srikanth knocked out
It was a mixed day for Indian shuttlers as Saina Nehwal moved into the semi-finals while Kidambi Srikanth was knocked out the tournament losing to Son W-h of Korea at Malaysia Masters on Friday, 18th January.
Saina Nehwal defeated Nozomi Okuhara in two straight games. It was not an easy game for Nehwal as she had to fight hard in both games. In the first game Okuhara played aggressive badminton and had 15-9 lead before Saina Nehwal showed her fire and determination to win the first game 21-18.
In the second game also, Okuhara made the life tough as she took 18-14 lead. Saina Nehwal played aggressive badminton to level the scores at 19-19. Both players took alternate points before Saina won the match 23-21.
This is the third successive win for Saina Nehwal over Nozomi Okuhara. Saina Nehwal defeated Okuhara in the French Open and Denmark Open last year. She will face Olympic Champion, Carolina Marin.
Kidambi Srikanth lost to Son W-h in three gruelling sets. It was an amazing performance by both these players. The Indian won the first set 23-21 before the Korean won the next two sets 21-16, 21-17 to move into the semi-finals.
The first game was a close fought match as both players fought for each point before winning it 23-21. In the second game, Srikanth trailed 9-11 before Son W-h increased his tempo and won the second set 21-16.
In the third and deciding game, Kidambi Srikanth took a 5-1 lead and committed lots of error. Son W-h played with aggression and took 13-10 lead. The Korean continued to play aggressive badminton and won the third set 21-17.
Saina Nehwal will be looking to continue her brilliant form against Marin and hope to reach the finals in the first tournament of the season.